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Drafting the Inhuman: Conjectures on Capitalism


and Organic Necrocracy
Reza Negarestani

And beyond all this we have yet to disturb the peace of this
world in still another way... 1
Quod exitus sectabor iter?

With the burgeoning popularity of speculative thought, it is becoming more evident


that what is labelled as speculative is more an epiphenomenon of the inquisitive re-
negotiation of human faculties, their limits and vulnerabilities rather, than a counter-
intuitive foray into the abyssal vistas unlocked by contemporary science. Accordingly,
in the more extreme forms of speculative thought, political intervention and political
analysis have been curtailed or at least have been temporarily suspended. This is be-
cause the horizon of agency (of emancipation or intervention), ontological privileges
and conditions of experience are precisely those ingredients of political thought which
are under the process of critical interrogation. Yet strangely, it seems that speculative
thought has not given up remarking on capitalismthis hypothetical mathesis uni-
versalis of politico-economic problemseven in some of its most apolitical moments.2
For the purpose of understanding some of the disjunctive impasses between specula-
tive thought and politics as well as possibilities for mobilizing a politics capable of us-
ing the resources of speculative thought, this essay will concentrate its energy on the
most recurring politico-economic figure of speculative thought: Capitalism. To do so,
we shall, in proceeding steps, dissect the uncanny affinities between contemporary
capitalisms insinuations of an inhuman politics and speculative thoughts assault on
the humans empirically overdetermined set of cognitive faculties impose[d] upon the
speculative imagination.3 We shall subsequently investigate the lines of correspond-
1. Sigmund Freud, Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, New York, W. W. Norton & Company, 1977, p. 353.
2. Capitalism is a hypothetical universal platform of problem-solving and information processing which
for every problem and desire determines a solutiona marketby recourse to an immanent death which
exteriorizes it as a liquidating form of animation (production?) which intensifies and becomes more intri-
cate as it encompasses more problems (potential resources).
3. Ray Brassier, Alien Theory: The Decline of Materialism in the Name of Matter, Warwick University, PhD
Dissertation, 2001. Online available at: http://www.cinestatic.com/trans-mat/Brassier/ALIENTHEO-
RY.pdf, pg. 163.

182
Reza Negarestani 183
ence between the inhumanist conception of capitalism and speculative thoughts more
extreme attempts for precluding all anthropomorphic predications so as to understand
the limits of a politics nurtured by the outcomes of speculative thought. It is only by re-
orienting the vectors of speculative thought in relation to these limits that various pos-
sibilities or obstacles of a politics capable of mirroring and mobilizing the vectors of
speculative thought come to light.

I
Whereas numerous texts have been written on Freuds energetic model of the nervous
system presented in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, few of them have continued developing
Freuds energetic analysis in the same speculative spirit. Yet even among the handful
of these works, nearly all the emphasis has been put on the most explicitly expressed
lines of Beyond the Pleasure Principle in regard to the inevitability of regression toward in-
organic exteriority qua death. What can be called thanatropic regression or the com-
pulsion of the organic to return to the inorganic state of dissolution has been frequent-
ly accentuated at the cost of sacrificing the more speculative fronts of Freuds energetic
model in regard to trauma and the economic order of the organism. Following Deleuze
and Guattaris lead regarding the intimate relationship between Freuds account of the
death-drive and capitalism, Freuds theory of thanatropic regression has become a re-
current speculative tool in building a double-faced and hence elusive image of capital-
ism which despite its adherence to the conservative interests of humans registers itself as
a planetary singularity which is at once inevitable and disenchantingly emancipating.
Freud himself indeed spoke of the link between his discovery of the death instinct and
World War I, which remains the model of capitalist war. More generally, the death in-
stinct celebrates the wedding of psychoanalysis and capitalism; their engagement had
been full of hesitation. What we have tried to show apropos of capitalism is how it inher-
ited much from a transcendent death-carrying agency, the despotic signifier, but also how
it brought about this agencys effusion in the full immanence of its own system: the full
body, having become that of capital-money, suppresses the distinction between produc-
tion and antiproduction: everywhere it mixes antiproduction with the productive forc-
es in the immanent reproduction of its own always widened limits (the axiomatic). The
death enterprise is one of the principal and specific forms of the absorption of surplus val-
ue in capitalism. It is this itinerary that psychoanalysis rediscovers and retraces with the
death instinct [...]4
According to this double-faced image of capitalism predicated upon the politico-eco-
nomical insinuations of the death-drive, in gaining its own angular momentum capital-
ism brings forth an emancipation in terms other than those of the human. In this case,
whilst capitalism is open to human interests, it also moves toward a planetary emanci-
pation wherein the capitalist singularity departs from human purposiveness and privi-
leges. This image of capitalism as something that can simultaneously be in the service
of human interests and be an inhuman model of emancipation has become a common
romantic trope among philosophers who advocate capitalism as that which is capable
of wedding the concrete economy of human life to a cosmos where neither being nor
thinking enjoy any privilege.
As Nick Land has elaborated in The Thirst for Annihilation as well as his essays,
what brings about the possibility of this weird marriage between human praxis and
4. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Minneapolis, University of
Minnesota Press, 1983, p. 335, my emphasis.
184 Drafting the Inhuman: Conjectures on Capitalism and Organic Necrocracy
inhuman emancipation is the tortuous economy of dissipation inherent to capital-
ism as its partially repressed desire for meltdown.5 Although the economy of dissipa-
tion can be captured by humans through a libidinal materialist participation with the
techno-capitalist singularity, it ultimately escapes the gravity of humans and entails
their dissolution into the inorganic exteriority. Capitalism in this sense is not an at-
tainable state but rather a dissipative (anti-essence) tendency or process which moves
along the detours of organizational complexity, increasing commodification and con-
voluted syntheses of techn and physis so as to ultimately deliver humans conserva-
tive horizon into an unbound state of dissolution. Immunological impulses of capi-
talism against its implicit desire for meltdown are doomed to fail as capitalism fully
gains it angular momentum by reaping planetary resources and conceiving its irrep-
arably schizophrenic image.
Machinic desire can seem a little inhuman, as it rips up political cultures, deletes tradi-
tions, dissolves subjectivities, and hacks through security apparatuses, tracking a soulless
tropism to zero control. This is because what appears to humanity as the history of cap-
italism is an invasion from the future by an artificial intelligent space that must assemble
itself entirely from its enemys resources.6
It is this singularized deliverance of the human to the state of dissolutionconcomi-
tant with its pulverizing impact on the correlation between thought and the self-love
of man (viz. organic survivalism)that assigns capitalism an inhuman emancipative
role. This model of emancipation is comparable with H.P. Lovecrafts fantastic concept
holocaust of freedom which celebrates the consummation of human doom with hu-
man emancipation. Thus through a politico-economic reappropriation of Freuds the-
ory of the death-drive, Nick Land identifies capital as a planetary singularity toward
utter dissipation whose dynamism becomes more complicated as it circuitously verg-
es upon zero.
Once the commodity system is established there is no longer a need for an autonomous
cultural impetus into the order of the abstract object. Capital attains its own angular mo-
mentum, perpetuating a run-away whirlwind of dissolution, whose hub is the virtual zero
of impersonal metropolitan accumulation. At the peak of its productive prowess the hu-
man animal is hurled into a new nakedness, as everything stable is progressively liquidat-
ed in the storm.7
Now compare Lands trenchant veneration of Freuds account of the death-drive as a
creativity that pushes life into its extravagances with the inhumanist model of capital-
ism wherein the affirmation of and demand for more is but a rivers search for the sea.
The death drive is not a desire for death, but rather a hydraulic tendency to the dissi-
pation of intensities. In its primary dynamics it is utterly alien to everything human, not
least the three great pettinesses of representation, egoism, and hatred. The death drive is
Freuds beautiful account of how creativity occurs without the least effort, how life is pro-
pelled into its extravagances by the blindest and simplest of tendencies, how desire is no
more problematic than a rivers search for the sea.8

5. Despite all approaching critical evidences, few of the conjectural lines in this essay could have been de-
veloped without Nick Lands original contributions which have irreproachably left their distinctive marks on
the larval body of speculative thought.
6. Nick Land, Machinic Desire, Textual Practice, vol. 7, no. 3, 1993, p. 479.
7. Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation: Georges Bataille and Virulent Nihilism, London, Routledge, 1992, p. 80.
8. Nick Land, Making It with Death: Remarks on Thanatos and Desiring Production, British Journal of
Phenomenology, vol. 24, no. 1, 1993, pp. 74-75.
Reza Negarestani 185
Land here presents a model or definition of capitalism which despite its collusive en-
tanglements with humans desires and interests is a detoured and hence complex singu-
larity toward the inorganic exteriority which ultimately enforces an all-inclusive libera-
tion from the conservative nature of the organism and its confines for thought. Yet the
question we must ask is whether the capitalist dissipative singularity is really emanci-
pative or not? And even more crucially, does the capitalist model of accelerating plan-
etary dissipation really effectuate an inhumanist model of emancipation that breaks
away from the conservative ambits of the human? The ambition of this essay is, ac-
cordingly, to renegotiate the definition of the capitalist singularity through a closer and
more extreme engagement with Freuds speculative thesis on thanatropic regression.
Accordingly, we shall investigate if this emancipative conception of capitalism genuine-
ly presents a radical model of the Inhuman or not.
The collusion between science and capitalism imparts an alarmingly critical sig-
nificance to such inspections into the relation between capitalism and its image as an
inevitable singularity that coheres with the compulsive regression of the organism to-
ward the inorganic exteriority. The collusion of capitalism with science enables capi-
talism to incorporate contemporary sciences continuous disenchantment of cosmos as
the locus of absolute objectivity and inevitable extinction. In doing so, capitalism can
establish a concurrently inevitable and emancipative image of itself: Capitalism is in-
evitable because it terrestrially coincides with and converges upon the cosmic truth of
extinction (Brassier); it is emancipative because it harbours the debacle of human and
binds the enlightening disenchantment implicit in dissolution as an objectifying truth.9
In other words, the complicity of science and capitalism provides capitalism with a
speculative weapon capable of imposing capitalism as the universal horizon of politic-
economic problems as well as the ultimate mode of departure from the restricting am-
bit of the terrestrial sphere. Whilst the former grants capitalism a vector of participa-
tion, the latter constitutes capitalisms crafty model of emancipation.
In a sense, probably nothing has been more profitable for capitalism than its clan-
destine alliance with science through whose support capitalism has become increas-
ingly elusive, more difficult to resist, harder to escape and more seductive for those
who await the imminent homecoming of scientific enlightenment or the advent of
technological singularities. Antihumanism, in this regard, has ironically become the
formidable assassin of capitalism in that it connects capitalism with an inhumanist
model of emancipation or grants capitalism mythical powers against various mani-
fests of humanist hubris. Therefore, this essay can also be read as a speculative repri-
sal against the supposedly antihumanist aspects of capitalism which contribute to its
image as an irresistible singularity. This essay, consequently, shall attempt to wrest a
radical conception of inhumanism from the Capital-nurturing hands of antihuman-
ism in its various forms. In the wake of the complicity between science and capitalism,
it is becoming more evident that the inhumanist resistance against capitalism should
not dabble in preaching against humanism and its philosophical minions. Instead, it
should dispose of the kind of antihumanist thought that romanticallywhether will-
ingly or notcontributes to the cult of Capital and occludes both thinking and prax-
is. One can recapitulate the above suspicions in regard to an antihumanist definition
of capitalism in two questions:

9. See Ray Brassier, Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007,
pp. 205-239.
186 Drafting the Inhuman: Conjectures on Capitalism and Organic Necrocracy
1. To what extent does the Freudian appropriation of Capitaltipped by
Deleuze and Guattari and fully fashioned by Nick Land through the polit-
ico-economic unbinding of Freuds theory of thanatropic regressionas an
antihumanist yet emancipative conception shatter the illusive sovereignty of
the human and ally itself with the inhumanism that it claims to be the har-
binger of?
2. Does the cosmological reinscription of Freuds account of the death-drive that
extends the thanatropic regression from the organism to all other forms of
embodiment (from organic life to the plant to stellar formations down to mat-
ter itself) repudiate the image of capitalism as an inexorable yet emancipa-
tive twister toward utter liquidation? Can the reinscription of Freuds theory
of thanatropic regression on a cosmic level redeem antihumanism and rescue
it from the clutches of capitalism? For it seems that in his recent work Nihil
Unbound, Ray Brassier, following Lands novel approach to Freud in The Thirst
for Annihilation, has resorted to the latter solution in order to wipe the stains of
capitalism from the face of a cosmically eliminativist model of enlightenment
(i.e. scientific nihilism as the daredevil of speculative thought)?

II
The identification of capitalism as a singularity at once participatory (hence open to
praxis) and emancipative should not be oversimplified as an impotently phantasmic
conception which passively awaits its actualization. It is rather a potent support and
guarantor for the creative praxis of capitalism on all levels. It is the seamless integra-
tion of singularized inevitability and emancipative ubiquity that calls for a spontane-
ous praxis. And it is the emphasis on praxis that speeds the awakening of Capitals
sweeping whirlwind. Therefore, such an identification of capitalism has become a
programmatic form of apologetics for capitalisms ubiquity which in turn justifies the
axiomatic assimilation of all planetary systems, forms of life and vectors of thought
by the mimetic flow of Capital. The ubiquity of capitalism, to this extent, is affirmed
precisely by its identification as a liquidating storm which is in the process of dethron-
ing the human from its terrestrial ivory tower. And it is this undulating deluge toward
dissipation of matter and energy that either deceitfully mimics or genuinely coincides
with the cosmic extinction or the asymptotic disintegration of the universe on an ele-
mentary material level, that is to say, the ubiquitous and all-inclusive cosmic truth of
extinction, the truth of extinction as such. For this reason, the supposedly inhuman-
ist identification of capitalism serves as a programmaticrather than merely the-
oreticcontribution to the pragmatic ethos and assimilating nature of capitalism.
This programmatic contribution is conducted by means of drawing a line of corre-
spondence and coincidence between the dissolving forces of capital on the one hand
and the disintegrating cosmic forces vigorously heralded by contemporary science on
the other. This is why the antihumanist definition of capitalismespecially as a sin-
gularity that miraculously weaves participation, cosmic disenchantment and eman-
cipation togetherhas turned into an allure for various affinities of speculative phi-
losophy and imaginative politics. Whilst the former has been disillusioned in regard
to the restrictions of matter as well as subjective or inter-subjective conditions for ex-
perience, the latter has grown weary of the romantic bigotries of kitsch Marxism and
ruinous follies of liberalism.
Reza Negarestani 187
In The Thirst for Annihilation and later in his numerous essays, Land introduces an
inhumanist model of capitalism through a reappropriation of Freuds energetic mod-
el of the nervous system. The reason for Lands emphatic recourse to Freuds ener-
getic model is that the extremity and terrestrial generality of Freuds account of the
death-drive are able to universally mobilize capitalism beyond its historic and partic-
ular conditions. In other words, it is the death-drive that transcendentally and from
within universalizes capital as the all-encompassing capitalism. Furthermore, as Land
points out, if death is already inherent to capital as a machine part, the death of capi-
talism is a delusion either generated by anthropomorphic wishful thinking or neurotic
indulgence in victimhood.10 In short, Land assumes that the emancipative conception
of capitalism requires a realist model capable of positing the reality of emancipation
exterior to ontological and subjective privileges of human. And it is Freuds energetic
model that as a prototypical model of speculative thought revokes the enchanted on-
tological privileges of life by presenting life as a temporal scission from its precursor
exteriority qua inorganic. Both the life of thought and the life of the human body are
externally objectified by the originary exteriority that pulls them back toward a disso-
lution which is posited in anterior posteriority to life. The external objectification of
the human hardwarecoincidental with the independent reality of dissolutionun-
dermines the monopoly and hegemony of the human genetic lineage as the vehicle
of social dynamics. On the other hand, the objectification of thought is traumatically
bound as a vector of disillusionment in regard to radical deficiencies of life as the con-
stitutive horizon of thoughts topology and dynamism. Such disillusionment paves the
road toward an abyssal realm where thought must be armed with a speculative drive.
Accordingly for Land, Freuds energetic model is comprised of an emancipative yet im-
plicitly antihumanist front in that it posits the anterior posteriority of dissolution as a
radical truth determined to flush human faculties down the latrine of pure objectivity.
However, Freuds energetic model is constituted of another front which does not
thoroughly exclude the human: The traumatic scission from the inorganic or any pre-
cursor exteriority brings about the possibility of life which consists of energetic oppor-
tunities. These energetic opportunities are conservatively enveloped and developed to
support the survival (from basic perseverance to complexification) of the organism or
the index of interiority. Correspondingly, the energetic opportunities occasioned by
the traumatic scission from the precursor exteriority are posed as tortuous driveways
toward the originary state of dissolution. The conservative nature of the organism or
the emerged interiority utilizes these energetic opportunitiesensued by an originary
differentiation from the precursor exteriorityfor intensive and extensive activities of
sustenance. For this reason, the complication and explication of these energetic oppor-
tunities which are in accordance with the conservative nature of the organism can be
taken as lines of participation. These opportunities can be programmed to change the
topology, economy and dynamism of the inevitable return to the precursor exteriority.
In short, the traumatic scission of the organic from the inorganic provides the organ-
ism with energetic opportunities which are posited as sites and conditions for partic-
ipation. The second front of Freuds energetic model of thanatropic regression, ac-
cordingly, brings about the possibility of participation without ceasing to be ultimately
emancipative and crushingly disenchanting. These two fronts are respectively (a) the
emancipative front where dissolution and the disenchanting truth conjoin, and (b) the
10. Land, Making It with Death, p. 68.
188 Drafting the Inhuman: Conjectures on Capitalism and Organic Necrocracy
participative front where the energetic opportunities of the conservative organism can
be utilized as accelerative and programmatic vectors in the direction of the aforemen-
tioned emancipation.
These two fronts of Freuds model are connected by a maze of material and energy
dissipation, an intricately circuitous curve whose slant can become steeper and thereby
be accelerated toward the ultimate emancipation. It is here that capitalism is identified
with this curve or maze of dissipation that links the conservative nature of the system
to an emancipation which knows nothing of the human. The intertwinement of a pre-
disposition for accumulation and a passion for liquidation within capitalism resonates
with Freuds energetic model in which the conservative nature of the organism is a dis-
sipative twist toward the inorganic exteriority. Capitalism, in this sense, is a dissipa-
tive tendency that unfolds through the complicated paths of the conservative horizon,
turning the conditions for complexification of life (i.e. resources, techniques, participa-
tions, etc.) into conditions for its acceleration and perpetuating its angular momentum.
Capitalisms parasitic insistence on its survival is the expression of its constitutive dissi-
pative tendency (desire for meltdown) that must effectuate its singularity by all means and
at all costshence the machinic conception of capitalism as an open system that assim-
ilates every antagonism or exception as its axioms and resources. This is why in order
to present an antihumanist model of capitalism, Land uses the direct correspondence
between the conservative-dissipative conception of capitalism and Freuds energetic
model of thanatropic regression for the organic conservation. The topologic, econom-
ic and dynamic calculi of this definition or model of capitalism as a liquidating storm
against everything solid can be found in Freuds theory of thanatropic regression. Ac-
cording to this definition of capitalism, although capitalism is ultimately emancipative
in terms other than those of human, it can be participated and accelerated by human
and for this reason, it does not exclude an ethics or politics of praxis.
In his tour de force on nihilism and enlightenment, Nihil Unbound, Ray Brassier
seems to be fully aware of the threats that the Landian definition of capitalism poses
against the disenchanting potentials of Freuds account of the death-drive. In the wake
of such a definition, the emancipative energy of the truth of extinction implicated in
the theory of thanatropic regression is converted to an alien and thus impartial justifi-
cation for capitalist indulgences which conflate anthropic interests with the ever more
complicating paths of organic survivalism. In other words, the inevitable truth of ex-
tinction as the apotheosis of the enlightenments project of disenchantment is exploit-
ed by the Freudian reformulation of capitalism. In this way, the anterior posteriority
of extinction as an ultimate disenchantment affirms and reenacts human not only as
the participating and accelerating element but also as something which deviously rec-
onciles vitalism with the disenchanting truth of extinction.11 In order to purge Freuds
theory of thanatropic regression from such manipulations and draw an intimate link
between the will to know and the will to nothingness, Ray Brassier presents a genu-
inely speculative solution.12 Brassier proposes that Freuds theory of thanatropic re-
gression must be reinscribed on a cosmic level so that not only the organic dissolves
into the inorganic but also the inorganic gains a dissipative or loosening tendency to-

11. It [extinction] retroactively disables projection, just as it pre-emptively abolishes retention. In this re-
gard, extinction unfolds in an anterior posteriority which usurps the future anteriority of human existence.
Brassier, Nihil Unbound, p. 230.
12. Brassier, Nihil Unbound, p. xii.
Reza Negarestani 189
ward the precursor exteriority qua the anterior posteriority of extinction. The cosmo-
logical re-inscription of Freuds account of the death-drive unshackles the disenchant-
ing and hence emancipative truth of extinction from the capitalism-friendly horizon of
vitalism.13 Just as the organic interiority is deserted on behalf of the inorganic, the in-
organic materials as conditions of embodiment are deserted on behalf of an unbound
cosmic exteriority where even the elementary fabric of matter is an index of interiori-
zation and must be undone. It is in loosening every index of interiority and deserting
their domain of influence that the truth of extinction forces thought to be a speculative
imagination for and of the cosmic abyss.
Since cosmic extinction is just as much of an irrecusable factum for philosophy as bio-
logical deathalthough curiously, philosophers seem to assume that the latter is some-
how more relevant than the former, as though familiarity were a criterion of philosoph-
ical relevanceevery horizonal reserve upon which embodied thought draws to fuel its
quest will be necessarily finite. Why then should thought continue investing in an account
whose dwindling reserves are circumscribed by the temporary parameters of embodi-
ment? Why keep playing for time? A change of body is just a way of postponing thoughts
inevitable encounter with the death that drives it in the form of the will to know. And a
change of horizon is just a means of occluding the transcendental scope of extinction, pre-
cisely insofar as it levels the difference between life and death, time and space, revoking
the ontological potency attributed to temporalizing thought in its alleged invulnerabili-
ty to physical death.14
Brassiers cosmic reinscription of Freuds thanatropic regression is an attempt to enact
eliminativism as an ultimate vector of enlightenment and emancipative disenchant-
ment. Yet to cosmically enact eliminativism, one must have a model to divest all hori-
zons of interiority (from organisms to stars to galaxies and even matter itself) of their
ontological potencies and so-called vitalistic opportunities for carrying on the life of
thought. The model capable of guaranteeing such a great purge is Freuds account of
the death-drive. However, as Brassier knows, there are two obstacles for the appro-
priation of Freuds model: First, as we argued earlier, the allegedly inhumanist con-
ception of capitalism and especially Nick Lands Freudian reformulation of Capital
justifies capitalist indulgences of anthropic agencies as ethical and political vectors.
Therefore, the inhumanist conception of capitalism strategically venerates vitalism
and its affirmationist policies on behalf of Freuds theory of the death-drive. The sec-
ond obstacle is that Freuds account of the death-drive merely includes a disintegrating
transition from the organic to the inorganic, which is to say, the thanatropic regres-
sion is peculiar to organic life in general. For this reason, Brassier tweaks Freuds ac-
count of the death-drive by reinscribing and reenacting it on a cosmic level. This way
the vector of eliminativism can abandon the horizon of every interioritywhether of
the organic or the inorganic (base-matter as such)and in doing so, ensures the cos-
mic unbinding of enlightenments project of disenchantment. Concurrently, the cos-
mic reinscription of Freuds account of the death-drive can terminate the sufficiency
of capitalist participation for accelerating the disenchanting emancipation harboured
by the truth of extinction. As even matter is deserted in order to unbind the abys-
sal realms of speculative thought, human participation for accelerating capitalist sin-
gularity loses its momentum as the bilateral aspect of participation is usurped by the
unilateralizing power of the ultimate cosmic extinction. Yet the cancellation of suffi-
13. Brassier, Nihil Unbound, p. 204.
14. Brassier, Nihil Unbound, p. 228-229.
190 Drafting the Inhuman: Conjectures on Capitalism and Organic Necrocracy
ciency neither guarantees an immaculate future for enlightenment nor provides ade-
quate reasons as to why senseless human participations in capitalism must be stopped.
Brassiers cosmic reinscription of Freuds model only manages to successfully eliminate
the vitalistic horizon implicit in the antihumanist definition of capitalism proposed by
Land. Yet it leaves the aporetic truth of capitalism as an inevitable singularity for dis-
sipation bound to the conservative order of the anthropic horizon unharmed. By leav-
ing the fundamental body and the primary front of the Landian definition of capital-
ism unharmed, Brassiers own project of enlightenment ironically turns into a dormant
ethico-political enterprise with an utopianistic twist. Brassiers account of eliminativist
enlightenment, in this sense, basks in the comforts of an utopianistic trust in opportu-
nities brought about by the neurocognitive plasticity whilst peacefully cohabiting with
capitalism on the same earth.
In the next section, we shall see why Brassiers cosmic reinscription of Freuds en-
ergetic model fails to disturb the integrity of capitalism as a singularity for dissipation
adopted by the economic order of the human organism in its accelerating pursuit for
intensive preservation and extensive sustenance (complexification). In this regard, we
shall elaborate how singling out certain aspects of Freuds theory of thanatropic re-
gression enables Land to erroneously attribute antihumanist and hence disenchanting-
ly emancipative aspects to capitalism. Also in the same vein, we shall argue that the
persuasion of Lands discriminating reading of Freuds account of the death-drive ulti-
mately renders Brassiers cosmic reinscription of the death-drive unobjectionable and
oblivious to the aporetic truth of capitalism. The next section will also attempt to an-
swer the two questions posed at the end of section I.

III
In what seems to be the apotheosis of Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud writes:
In the last resort, what has left its mark on the development of organisms must be the his-
tory of the earth we live in and of its relation to the sun. [...] It would be in contradiction
to the conservative nature of the instincts if the goal of life were a state of things which had
never yet been attained. On the contrary, it must be an old state of things, an initial state
from which the living entity has at one time or other departed and to which it is striving
to return by the circuitous paths along which its development leads. If we are to take it as
a truth that knows no exception that everything living dies for internal reasonsbecomes
inorganic once againthen we shall be compelled to say that the aim of life is death and,
looking backwards, that inanimate things existed before living ones. [...] For a long time,
perhaps, living substance was thus being constantly created afresh and easily dying, till
decisive external influences altered in such a way as to oblige the still surviving substance
to diverge ever more widely from its original course of life and to make ever more com-
plicated dtours before reaching its aim of death. These circuitous paths to death, faith-
fully kept to by the conservative instincts, would thus present us to-day with the picture
of the phenomena of life.15
Freud then explicitly characterizes the nature of this thanatropic tendency as a mo-
nopolistic regime of death supported by economical limits and conservative conditions
of the organism:
They [self-preservative instincts] are component instincts whose function it is to assure
that the organism shall follow its own path to death, and to ward off any possible ways of
returning to inorganic existence other than those which are immanent in the organism it-

15. Sigmund Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, New York, W. W. Norton & Company, 1961, p. 32.
Reza Negarestani 191
self. We have no longer to reckon with the organisms puzzling determination (so hard to
fit into any context) to maintain its own existence in the face of every obstacle. What we
are left with is the fact that the organism wishes to die only in its own fashion.16
Freuds account of the death-drive or theory of thanatropic regression consists of three
interconnected aspects, a speculative daemon with a tri-lobed head. Despite having
their own lines of speculative thought with their respective consequences, these three
aspects are intricately connected and cannot operate without each other. For the sake
of analytical precision, we shall dissect these lobes or interconnected aspects as follows:
1. The first aspect (the disenchanting / objectifying truth of extinction): The or-
ganism (as an index of interiority) temporally extends from the inorganic state
yet it is energetically drivenby all means and at all coststo its precursor ex-
teriority by flexing its contraction back to the inorganic (decontraction). The
thanatropic regression aims toward a death whose reality can neither be in-
dexed as a past state (hence not susceptible to retrogressive experience) nor
a future point (hence independent of the reality of the organism). The reality
of the originary death is exorbitantly exterior to conditions of life to which it
traumatically gives rise to. Thanatropic regression harbours the disenchanting truth of
extinction as an anterior posteriority whose actual yet independent objectivity and
unilateral demand for objectification make it inassimilable for transcendental
subjectivity. Since the actuality and independence of extinction concurrently
precede and supersede existential temporality, extinction is thus irreducible
to varieties of death-spiritualism.
2. The second aspect (the praxis of dissipation): Although the thanatropic re-
gression toward the precursor exteriority is unilateralized by the precursor
exteriority, its dynamic course and economy follows the conservative nature
of the organism. The dissipative tendency, or more accurately, the course of
decontraction toward the originary exorbitant death is shaped by the conser-
vative nature of the organism. The energetic incongruity between the dyste-
leologic death and the organic conservative nature (i.e. the medium-course)
causes the thanatropic regression to be topologically, dynamically and eco-
nomically conceived as a twist or an inflective curve. Life, in this sense, is an
inflection of death. Despite the inevitability of death, lifes dynamic and eco-
nomic twist opens up convoluted horizons for participation. The umwege of life
or the inflection of death is twistedly open to praxis (hence the possibility of political inter-
vention and economic participation).
3. The third aspect (the dictatorial tendency of affordance): Since the course
and the medium of thanatropic regression are determined by the economic
order and conservative conditions of the organism, the modus operandi of the
organisms dissipative tendency is subjected to the quantitative and qualita-
tive reductions dictated by the economical affordability of the organism. To
put it differently, conservative conditions of the organism impose an econom-
ical restriction on the dissipative tendency of the organism so that the organ-
ism only dies in those ways which are immanent to, or more precisely, afford-
able for it. The organism can only follow its own affordable and thus economically con-
servative path to death in order to decontract. Accelerating the dissipative tendency
through political and economic praxis, therefore, does not lead to divergence
16. Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, p. 33.
192 Drafting the Inhuman: Conjectures on Capitalism and Organic Necrocracy
from the conservative economy, but to the intensive re-enactment of such
economys dictatorial foundations in regard to death.
4. According to what we elaborated earlier in section II, Lands libidinal mate-
rialist conception of capitalism as an inhumanist praxis which is open to the
liquidating process of emancipation accentuates the second aspect of Freuds
model. Yet at the same time, it also relatively adopts the first aspect of Freuds
account of the death-drive within the terrestrial or rather a non-ubiquitous
scope. Consequently, in Lands account of capitalism the politico-economic
praxis (conceived by the detours and anomalies of life) meets and coincides
with the cosmic vector of emancipation. Yet, through the cosmic reinscrip-
tion of the first aspect, Brassier elegantly shows that the emancipative truth
of extinction ultimately annuls the vitalistic proclivities in the second aspect
and widens the scope of emancipation from the terrestrial to the cosmic. And
it is this cosmic unbinding that inflicts a decisive blow against the sufficiency
of human interests and desires surreptitiously integrated within capitalism as
propulsive elements. Brassier cosmically reinscribes the first aspect of Freuds
theory of thanatropic regression in order to extend the eliminativist / disen-
chanting vector of enlightenment all the way to the cosmic exteriority as the
unilateralizing truth for the mobilization of speculative thought. However,
Brassiers cosmic reinscription of Freuds account of the death-drive also re-
sults in the cosmic unbinding of the second aspect (viz. the theory of umwe-
ge) which is inseparable from the first. Yet in this case the increasing convo-
lutions of the dissipative tendency do not suggest new opportunities for pro-
longing the life of thought. Instead these mazy convolutions bespeak of a
twisted chain of traumatically nested horizons of interiorities which must be
deserted or betrayed, one in favour of another. Here umwege presents a graph
for the external objectification of thought, a turning inside-out of thought
whereby the commitment to thought is supplanted by the treachery of the
object on behalf of extinction. This is why Brassiers cosmic reinscription of
the first aspect ingeniously conjures a shadow of a non-vitalist ethics or a de-
sertifying politics of eliminativism which aims at objectifying every horizon
of interiority (including thought and embodiment) so as to expose them to the
desertifying vector of eliminativism. However, both Land and Brassier seem
to remain oblivious to the implications of the third aspect (viz. the dictatori-
al tendency of affordance) and exclude it from their calculations in regard to
capitalism and enlightenment.
Life of the organism is determined by the way it must return to the inorganic state.
Human life, correspondingly, is determined by the humans path to its precursor exte-
riority. The thanatropic regression which registers itself as a dissipative tendency for
matter and energy is conducted through this path. Such a path for human is drawn
by the conservative conditions of the human organism. We call this conservative re-
gime of the open system or the organism which forces the dissipation or the thanat-
ropic regression to be in conformity to the dynamic capacity of the organism or the or-
ganisms affordable economy of dissipation, necrocracy. In short, necrocracy suggests the
strictures of the conservative economy not in regard to life but in regard to ways the
organism dies; and it is the way of returning to the originary death that prescribes the
course of life for the organism. Accordingly, necrocracy does not imply that every life
Reza Negarestani 193
brings with it the de facto reign of death from the beginning or that living is submitting to
the rule of death. Instead necrocracy suggests that the organism must die or bind the
precursor exteriority only in ways that its conservative conditions or economic order
can afford. The principle of affordability in regard to the fashion of the thanatropic
regression strictly conforms to the economic order of the organism, but it is primarily
conditioned by the exorbitance and the inevitability of death postulated by the anteri-
or posteriority of extinction. Hence, necrocracy is decided by conservative conditions
of the living agency which cannot repel the inevitability of death, nor can it uncondition-
ally return to the inorganic state.
As we shall later elaborate, the unconditionality of death or extinction must not be
confused with the conditionality of returning to the originary death. The latter is im-
posed by the formation of the organism where capacities and conditions for conserva-
tion are inextricable from terms of decontraction posited by the unconditional death.
For the living agency, the path to death is dictated by its dynamic capacity for conser-
vation which can only afford to die or dissipate according to conditions posed by the
intensive and extensive factors of affordability. Affordability, in this sense, is the corre-
lation between the economy of sustenance and the excess of the outside which mani-
fests in the economical correlation between the complicative introgression and the ex-
plicative progression of the organism or open system. For this reason, the emerging
complexity of the living agency which corresponds with its ability to temporally post-
pone death and convert the acquired time to capitalizable interest for the living or-
ganism bespeaks of nothing but the affordable way to die or dissipate. In its tenden-
cy for complexification, axiomatic assimilation of all resources and insistence upon
an internal autonomy despite its accelerative movement toward meltdown, capitalism
corresponds to the principles of an affordable path toward dissolution prescribed and
conditioned by the conservative capacity of the anthropic system in regard to the in-
evitability of death.
Once the necrocratic regime of the organismimplicated in the third aspect of
Freuds account of the death-driveis exposed, capitalism is revealed as the last con-
servative front which the human organism is not willing to surrender. The implications
of the necrocratic regime of the organism disarm Lands conception of emancipative
capitalism as a whirlwind of dissolution by emptying it from its seemingly inhumanist
bravado. At the same time, such implications tarnish the disenchanting vector of spec-
ulative thought harboured by the truth of extinction which lies at the center of Brass-
iers project. Although human, its faculties and privileges are objectified and subse-
quently extinguished by the truth of extinction, for the human the implications of such
truth can only register in conformity with the strictly conservative aspects of the hu-
man organism. Even though the human and its wherewithal are unilaterally objec-
tified by the truth of extinction on a cosmic level, the course of their objectification qua
dissolution stringently corresponds to the intrinsic conservative formation and interi-
orizing terms of the anthropic sphere. The speculative vectors mobilized by the cos-
mic truth of extinction, therefore, are forcefully trammeled by the necrocratic regime
in which the human can only bind and inflect upon exorbitant death (Brassier) qua ex-
tinction in terms conforming to its economical order and affordability.17 This is to say
that even though the cosmic truth of extinction points to a disenchanting moment, its
locus of registration abides by the conservative economy and the restrictive affordabil-
17. Brassier, Nihil Unbound, p. 238.
194 Drafting the Inhuman: Conjectures on Capitalism and Organic Necrocracy
ity of the human organism. Since the truth of extinction is exorbitant to the organism,
its wealth is always energetically subjected to the affordability of the organism.18 The
speculative opportunities (Brassier) of the truth of extinction, to this extent, obliquely
affirm and reinforce the conservative and interiorizing truth of the human affordabili-
ty.19 The implications of the necrocratic regime of the organism, as we shall see, outline
the limits of both an emancipative conception of capitalism and the speculative oppor-
tunities generated by the truth of extinction.

IV
The necrocratic regime of the organism has two economic ramifications: (a) the con-
servative nature of the organism asserts that the organism should only follow its own
path to death and all other ways of inflecting upon the precursor exteriority which are
not immanent to, or more accurately, not affordable for the organism must be avert-
ed; (b) any change or reformation aimed at the organisms course of life or its respective
problems is ultimately in accordance with the organisms circumscribed path to death
which is affordable by and exigently in conformity to the economical order of the or-
ganism. The path to death demarcates the modal range by which the organism must
die because these are the ways or modes of dissipation which are intensively and exten-
sively affordable by the economy of the organism. Thus the second necrocratic law can
also be put differently: Variations in ways of living and pursuing one way over another
for the better or worse of the organism remain within the confines of the organisms in-
herent economical and conservative nature which is demarcated by its restricted econ-
omy or exclusivist policy toward death. The capitalist production of lifestyles, in this
sense, is nothing more than the consequence of capitalisms submission to the necro-
cratic regime whereby the organism must only perish or bind negativity in ways afford-
able for its conservative economy. The so-called openness of capitalism toward modes
of life and its obsession with life-oriented models of emancipation attests to its progres-
sive refusal in questioning the necrocratic regime. It suggests the intrinsic inability of
capitalism in posing alternative ways of inflecting upon death and binding exteriori-
ty other than those afforded by the conservative horizon. Any model of emancipation
aimed at the life of the organism is confined to the monopolistic horizon of necrocracy
which is in complete accordance with the economic order of the organism. Life-orient-
ed models of emancipation merely mark the various possibilities of the organisms life
as the modi vivendi dictated by the necrocratic regime of the organism. In doing so, such
models dissimulate their fundamentally restricted framework and mask their obedient
nature toward the oppressive regime of necrocracy which restricts modes (modi operan-
di) of inflecting upon death or binding exteriority.20

18. Affordability should not be understood solely in terms of the organism but also as an economical corre-
lation through which the continuity between the excess that gives rise to the organism and the exteriorizing ex-
cess of death can be maintained through and within the economic order of the organism or the open system.
19. Brassier, Nihil Unbound, p. xi.
20. Throughout the entire history of philosophy, a unanimously established law of binding has been held
and maintained without interrogation. Parallel to the energetic model of organic dissipation or death, this
law or axiomatic principle holds that death or cosmic exteriority can be bound in one and one way only. As
a result, extinction or cosmic exteriorization always appears as a singular point of departure or pull-back
(inflection) toward the precursor exteriority whose monistic path the organism cannot diverge. The estab-
lishment of this model of binding is due to the insufficiency of philosophical thought and imagination with
regard to thinking extinction as contingently different or alternative ways or courses of binding cosmic ex-
teriority. The model of death or exteriorization as a singularity creates an impasse for thought that results
Reza Negarestani 195
Counter-intuitively, associating inhumanism with Capitals singularity toward dis-
solution is faulty if not humanly myopic. This is because the accelerative vector of
Capital for dissolution strictly remains in the confines of the necrocratic regime of
the organism wherein the restrictive policy in regard to modes of dissolution funda-
mentally abides by the conservative economy and interiorizing conditions of the (hu-
man) organism. In other words, capitalisms dissipative tendency is deeply in thrall
to the constitutional limit of the anthropic sphere in that the anthropic horizon is
not fundamentally distinguished by its model(s) of life but its simultaneously restricted
and restrictive attitude toward the exteriorizing death. Capitalism is, in fact, the very
affordable and conservative path to death dictated by the human organism on an all-
encompassing level. Capitalism does not repel the excess of the exorbitant truth of ex-
tinction as much as it economically affirms (i.e. mandates the affordability of) such an
excess. The economical binding or affording of the excess of the truth of extinction is
certainly an unsuccessful binding, but an essential unsuccessful binding necessitated
for underpinning the aporetic truth of capitalism without abolishing it. In fact, afford-
ing never implies a successful binding of an exorbitant truth; it is insistently an unsuc-
cessful, or more precisely, economical binding tethered to the capacity of the conser-
vative order. Under the economic aegis of an unsuccessfully bound truth of extinction,
capitalism is able to utilize the inevitability and ubiquity of extinction to respectively
feign its singularity and vindicate its assertive omnipresence. By presenting singularity
and ubiquity as its undisputable verities, capitalism can craftily dissimulate its anthrop-
ic economic order as an all-inclusive and prevalent terrestrial way of binding exteri-
ority which happens to be a little inhuman (Land). Yet, in reality, it is the economic
decision of the human organism in regard to the originary death which capitalism uni-
versalizes through politico-economic opportunities brought about by the unsuccessful
binding of the truth of extinction.
According to Freud, the organism shall only follow its own path to death. This
thanatropic path consists of those modes of dissipation which are fundamentally af-
fordable by the conservative nature of the organism. Alternative ways of returning to
the originary state of dissolution are in contradiction with the conservative nature of
the organisms own way of thanatropic regression and are excluded by the necrocrat-
ic regime. Therefore, if the ultimate conception of capitalism is an accelerative and in-
evitable singularity of dissolution which assimilates every planetary resource, then it
cannot be a radically alternative way of dissolution to those already affordable by the
(human) organism. Because if capitalism was indeed a vector of dissolution external to
the conservative ambit of human, it would have already been excluded and ferocious-
ly warded off by the economic order of the human organism. This is because, as we
stated, it is not alternative modes of living which are staved off by the organism but al-
ternative ways of inflecting upon the originary death and binding exteriority. For this
reason, capitalism is nothing but the very mode of dissipation and dissolution which
in a naturalized inability to think an alternative model of binding exteriority or cosmic extinction. Because
such an alternative model of binding, dying or exteriorization is misconstrued either as another form of liv-
ing (vitalistically escaping the thought of extinction) or an impossible form of exteriorization and death that
ironically must be warded off on both philosophical and political grounds. The restricted economy of death
as a singularity can only afford the idea of extinction in accordance with the given possibility(-ies) of the
world and never according to the contingency inherent to exterioritya contingency that is irreducible to
both possibilities of the world and possible worlds. Therefore in order to embrace the thought of extinction
as the unilateral expression of absolute contingency, we must first break away from the model of death-as-a-
singularity which is but death according to the world of given possibilities.
196 Drafting the Inhuman: Conjectures on Capitalism and Organic Necrocracy
is exclusive to the anthropic horizon because it is in complete conformity with the ca-
pacity of humans interiorized formation in its various economic configurations. Since
capitalism is the fundamentally affordable way of dissipation for the economic order
of the anthropic horizon, it is inherently hostile toward other modes of binding exte-
riority which cannot be afforded by the anthropic horizon. In other words, the truth
of capitalisms global dominance lies in its monopolistic necrocracy: A feral vigilance
against all alternative ways of binding exteriority or returning to the originary death
other than those which are immanent to and affordable for the anthropic horizon.
Only a vigilance beyond hate and enmity but blinded by the economic order of the
organism and its pressing demands can describe capitalisms actively militant and in-
telligent alertness against all other modes of dissolution and negativity. This vigilance
manifests in capitalisms restless assimilation of every form of negativity so as to reinte-
grate it as another mode or style of life. In doing so, capitalism can prevent the mobi-
lization of that negativity as an alternative way for binding exteriority and therefore,
maintains its dominantly prevalent position in regard to the human.
Conditioned by the conservative formation of the organism, the economic order
of the organism determines the way by which the organism must return to the origi-
nary state of dissolution. The criterion for such determination (dying in one way rath-
er than another) is the affordability of the organism. Openness, correspondingly, is a
dynamic economical correlation between the organisms intensive and extensive eco-
nomic factors. The openness of the organism to the outside is conducted through an
affordable path which consists of a range of activities corresponding to the economic
conditions of the organism. This does not mean that the organisms economic order is
oblivious to the inevitability of death or dissolution but on the contrary, it factors in the
certainty of death in each and every calculation. In grasping the organic as an inflec-
tion-sequence of the inorganic, the terms of decontraction which have been uncondi-
tionally posited by the inorganic are inseparable from the conditions inherent to the
contracted organic agency. Only by including the inevitability of dissolution, can the
capacity simultaneously preserve the organisms conservative economy and engage in
extensive / explicative activities which involve risks and hazardous expenditures. Thus
more than postponing the time of death and escaping the truth of extinction, the con-
servative formation of the organism strives to make the unconditional death affordable
and express the truth of extinction in its own economical terms. Affordability ensures
that the unilaterality implied by the inevitability of extinction be economically and
hence, unsuccessfully bilateralized. The aim of affordability is to make the discrepancy
between the inherent desire for self-preservation and the inevitability of death consis-
tent with the economic order of the organism. The vigilant stance against alternative
paths to death infers the economic bilateralization of deaths unilateral terms, because
here bilaterlization attests to the binding of the truth of extinction in no other terms
than those of the organism and its economic order. The disenchanting influences of
extinction on thought, consequently, are dampened by the economic bilateralization
of death. For the anthropic horizon, such bilateral qua affordable terms conform to the
truth of schizophrenically unbound capitalism as the dominantly affordable mode of
dissipation or thanatropic regression. If the truth of extinction is unsuccessfully bound
as a vector of dissipation whose terms are affordable for the organism and if for the an-
thropic horizon capitalism stands as the dominant set of such terms, then the econom-
ical binding of the truth of extinction inaugurates the truth of capitalism.
Reza Negarestani 197
In the end, what capitalisms vigilance against non-dialectical forms of negativi-
ty suggests is that the exorbitant truth of extinction has been bound by the conserva-
tive terms of the anthropic horizon which are reflected in the dissipative tendency of
Capital. Moreover, this axiomatic vigilance indicates that capitalism is not willing to
share the truth of extinction outside of its own economically paved dissipative path. In
this case, speculative opportunities brought about by the exorbitant truth of extinction
contribute to the militant potency of capitalism in staving off alternative ways of bind-
ing exteriority and obstructing the remobilization of non-dialectical negativity in ways
which do not conform to the economic order of the conservative horizon.
The reason for the vigilance against alternative paths of dissipation can be put
in simple terms: The organism insists on binding death only in its own terms. These
terms are the conditions inherent to the organisms capacity to conserve and respec-
tively, its affordability to mobilize such conservation in any direction. Corresponding-
ly, these terms are the economical premises which mark the boundaries of the organ-
ism and determine its conception. What primarily forces the organism to fashion its
own path to death is the impossibility of bargaining the compulsory terms of an exor-
bitant death. In other words, it is the unilaterality of extinctionthe traumatically ex-
orbitant immensity of the truth of extinctionwhich inspires and contributes to the
organisms exclusivist regime of dissipation. For the anthropic horizon, capitalism cor-
responds to such a necrocratic regime whereby inflecting upon the originary death
and binding exteriority are conducted in terms which strictly conform to the conserv-
ative formation of the interiorized horizon. Consequently, it is the exorbitant immen-
sity of the truth of extinction that inspires the emergence and acceleration of capital-
ism as the economically affordable tendency for dissipation and liquidation. When it
comes to an exorbitant truth, whether it is of the sun or cosmic extinction, the specu-
lative choices are limited to how the exorbitant wealth (speculative opportunities?) is
to be squandered. This dictum lies at the heart of capitalism as the speculative con-
sequence of an exorbitant truth for which the traumatic compulsion for squander-
ing must intertwine and unite with the inherently conservative economy of affording
more. Capitalisms incessant production of modi vivendi (courses of life) is the result of
capturing the compulsory and exorbitant terms of extinction in bilateral and afforda-
ble terms. This is because the possibility of living is guaranteed by these bilateral terms
according to which death can be exigently approached in terms of the organic capac-
ity and its interiorizing affordability. Accordingly, contra Lands dismissal of the third
aspect of Freuds energetic model as a security hallucination, the organic necrocracy
does not make death subordinate to the organism, it is on the contrary the result of full
subordination to death.21
The exclusivist stance of the organism in regard to its path to death is the very ex-
pression of the insurmountable truth of death within the organic horizon as a dissipa-
tive tendency which is supposed to mobilize the conservative conditions of the organ-
ism toward death. Unconditional submission to deathor a death whose path is not
paved by the economic terms of the organismbespeaks of the impossibility of the
temporality of the organic life from the outset. A death that does not allow the organ-
ism to die in its own terms is a death that usurps all conditions required for the organ-

21. What Freud calls the organisms own path to death is a security hallucination, screening out deaths
path through the organism. [T]he organism wishes to die only in its own fashion, he writes, as if death were
specifiable, privatizable, subordinate to a reproductive order [...] Land, Machinic Desire, p. 481.
198 Drafting the Inhuman: Conjectures on Capitalism and Organic Necrocracy
ic differentiation and temporary survival. Yet the contingent and undeniably scarce in-
stances of organic life and transient survival imply that the thanatropic regression is
merely unconditional in regard to the inevitable unilateralizing power of death, but in
terms of its course of conduction it is conditional. The inevitability of death does not
point to its absolute unconditionality but rather to the compulsive attempt of the or-
ganism to bind its precursor exteriority by mustering all its own intensive and exten-
sive economic conditions toward dissolution. The detours of life are drawn not be-
cause death should be unconditionally embraced but because the organism is itself the
inflection of death, a slope-curve between the inevitability of death and conservative
conditions of the organism. It is this very conception of organism as a differential ra-
tio between the insurmountable truth of death and conservative organic conditions for
binding such a truth that brings about the possibility of acceleration or hastening to-
ward dissolution. Yet, as we argued, such hastening is not a radical embracing of the
exorbitant truth of extinction, but rather an affordable and hence, a purely economical
(unsuccessful) way of binding the excess of such a truth. It is the unbindable excess of
the truth of extinctionas that which cannot be circumventedthat necessitates such
an affordable way of binding within the economic order of the organism. And it is this
affordable binding that can indeed be conceived in terms of acceleration.22

V
A simultaneously inhumanist and emancipative conception of capitalism as a runway
for imaginative (speculative?) praxis is a hastily crafted chimera. This is not because
capitalism is not really a partially repressed desire for meltdown but because the image
of capitalism as a planetary singularity for dissipation testifies to its rigid conformity
to the anthropic horizon which only follows an affordable path to death. In doing so,
capitalism as a twisted dissipative tendency rigidly wards off all other ways of dissolu-
tion and binding exteriority which are not immanent to or affordable for the anthrop-
ic horizon. This is because the conservative obligation of the dominant dissipative ten-
dency (viz. the organic path to dissolution) is to thwart any disturbance which might
be directed at the bilateral or conservative approach of the organism to death. At the
same time, the insistence on speculative opportunities begotten by the disenchanting
truth of extinction qua anterior posteriority is a bit more than a philosophical over-
confidence in the enlightening consummation of nihilism and an underestimation of
anthropomorphic trickeries. For as we argued, in the ambit of the organism the exor-
bitant truth of extinction registers as a conservative path to extinction, which is to say,
it is bound as a mediocrely affordable truth. On the other hand, we argued that the ex-
orbitant truth of extinction inspires and contributes to the dominantly necrocratic dis-
sipative tendency of the organism which in the case of the anthropic horizon forms the
truth of capitalism. For this reason, the truth of extinction is not sufficient to guarantee
either the imaginative praxis of capitalism or speculative opportunities harboured by
the nihilistic sublimation of the Enlightenment. The ostensibly inhumanist creativities
of capitalism and the speculative implications of a cosmological eliminativism respec-
tively become parts of an antihumanist convention or a nihilist lore which ultimately
22. Whilst for Land the possibility of accelerating capitalism rests on the economical binding of an exorbi-
tant index of exteriority within the energetic scope of the organism, for Brassier the possibility of philosoph-
ical binding of extinction can only be anchored by an economical binding of the exorbitant truth of extinc-
tion. This economical binding can be understood in terms of a deepened Freudian account of trauma whose
topology and energetic model are casually engaged and strategically affirmed by both Land and Brassier.
Reza Negarestani 199
and ironically lack a cunning vision of doom. The blunt confidence of both in the truth
of extinction as either that which mysteriously sorts everything out or the gate-opener
of speculative vistas sterilized of human mess, voluntary or not, contributes to the truth
of capitalism without bothering to disturb its comfort zones.
It is the registering of the exorbitant truth of extinction as an affordable dissipative
tendency that enables the organism to actively but economically (viz. unsuccessfully)
bind extinction. And it is the economical binding of extinction as a guarantor for ac-
tive dissipation that forces the organism to take an exclusivist policy toward other pos-
sible ways of binding the originary death or loosening into exteriority qua non-concep-
tual negativity. Whereas the former impediment in regard to the truth of extinction
complicates ventures of speculative thought, the latter obstacle imposed by the exclu-
sive policy toward alternative ways of binding exteriority sets a major limit against the
possibility of having a politico-economical counterpart for speculative thought. Yet as
we stated in the beginning, once these limits come to light, philosophical thought and
political praxis can either attempt to breach them or move in another direction where
such impasses have less paralyzing influence. At this point, we shall briefly touch on
some of the purely conjectural alternatives brought about by the unveiling of the afore-
mentioned limits.
If we identify the life of the anthropic horizonof both human material hardware
and thoughtas a set of dynamic yet affordable and exclusivist ways for the anthropic
horizon to bind the precursor exteriority, then we can tentatively define the Inhuman
by the possibility of alternative ways of binding exteriority qua concept-less negativity.
The Inhuman, respectively, is outlined by those ways of binding exteriority or com-
plicity with non-conceptual negativity which are not immanent to the anthropic hori-
zon and betray the economical order of the anthropic horizon in regard to exteriority.
Such alternatives do not simply suggest dying in ways other than those prescribed by
the organism, but rather the mobilization of forms of non-dialectical negativity which
can neither be excluded by the dominant dissipative tendency of the anthropic hori-
zon nor can be fully sublated by its order. For this reason, these remobilized forms of
non-dialectical negativity should not be completely unaffordable or external to the
economical order, for such absolute resistance to conservative conditions or exteriority
to the affordability of the horizon is indexed as an exorbitant negativity. As we showed
earlier, this is precisely the un-affordability of the exorbitant negativity qua deathas
that which is foreclosed to negotiationthat inspires the conservatively necrocratic
approach of the organism toward exteriority. And it is the insistence on affording (viz.
economically affirming) such an exorbitant and externalized negativity that turns into
a compulsion for the organism to exclude other possible ways of binding exteriority.
Such exclusion is conducted through the compulsive elimination of all traces of non-di-
alectical negativity other than those affordable by the economic order of the horizon.
Consequently, it is the compulsive elimination of alternative traces of non-dialectical
qua unilateralizing negativity that forestalls the unfolding of speculative thought and
its praxis. However, just as these mobilized forms of non-dialectical negativity should
not be posited as indexes of exorbitant externality, they should not succumb to a con-
sistently positive status for affirming and re-enacting the conservative horizon either.
In order to charge and remobilize traces of non-dialectical negativity as alterna-
tive ways of binding exteriority, the negativity should neither affirm the conservative
horizon nor posit itself as exorbitantly external to it. Such a remobilization of non-dia-
200 Drafting the Inhuman: Conjectures on Capitalism and Organic Necrocracy
lectical negativity, to this extent, brings to mind the treacherous pragmatics of the In-
sideran interiorized yet inassimilable (unilateralized) negativity which uses the eco-
nomical affordability of the conservative horizon as an alternative medium for the
eruption of exteriority.23 The remobilization of non-dialectical negativity as the so-
called Insider, for this reason, requires an equivocal conception of the void as its prin-
ciple of negativity. This is because an equivocal conception of the void does not cele-
brate its exteriority as an exorbitant externality which enforces negativity in the form
of a conservative dissipative tendency to the outside (extensive subtraction). The equiv-
ocal conception of the void not only brings about the possibility of negativity but also
makes such negativity infectious, for equivocality here means that the void as the prin-
ciple of negativity is intensively and problematically open to interiorizing terms and
conditions of the conservative horizon without ceasing to be exterior or losing its in-
assimilable negativity. Since the equivocal conception of the void can be interiorized
but cannot be assimilated, it interiorizes non-dialectical negativitys power of incision
(Brassier) as the creativity of perforation which effectuates the inassimilability qua uni-
laterality of negativity as a nested exteriority that loosens itself within the interiorized
horizon.24 Only the acceleration of a world-capitalism perforated by such insider con-
ceptions of non-dialectical negativity is tantamount to the metastatic propagation of
an exteriorizing terror which is too close to the jugular vein of capital to be either left
alone or treated.
In short, the equivocal conception of the void as the principle of negativity mobi-
lizes a logic of negativity that does not require operating on an exorbitantly external
level or turning into a positive salvation. Whilst the exorbitant conception of negativity
as an external index of resistance feeds capitalisms conservative impetus for widening its
limits (affording more), the positive stance of affirmation is an artless re-enactment of the
conservative horizon. Therefore, the programmatic objective of an inhuman praxis is
to remobilize non-dialectical negativity beyond such Capital-nurturing conceptions of
negativity. Without such a programmatic sponsor, alternative ethics of openness or pol-
itics of exteriorization, the speculative vectors of thought are not only vulnerable to the
manipulations of capitalism but also are seriously impeded.
One can reformulate the limits discussed in this essay in terms of the limits im-
plicit in the terrestrial image of thought. If according to Freud, the development of the
organism is molded by the extensive correlation between the earth and the sun, then
what are the implications of this relation for the terrestrial thought? For it seems that
the earths conservative-dissipative correlation with the sun has entrenched its traces in
thought as a dominant model for the economy, topology and dynamism of life. This is
not just because a major part of formations on the planet (including all human endea-
vours) are directly contingent upon the sun, but also because the suns exorbitant exte-
riority ingrains a conservative image of exteriority in thought. Such exorbitant exteri-
ority can only be bound as an affordable dissipative tendency which rigidly limits the
image of exteriority and in doing so, restricts all other possible ways for binding exte-
riority. The energetic sun-earth axis has become a burdening chain for the terrestrial
image of thought insofar as it constitutes the exclusivist model of death and dissipation

23. For more details on an equivocal conception of the void, see: Reza Negarestani, Differential Cru-
elty: A Critique of Ontological Reason in Light of the Philosophy of Cruelty, Angelaki, vol. 14, no. 3, 2009,
pp. 69-84.
24. Brassier, Nihil Unbound, p. 146.
Reza Negarestani 201
which restricts the scope of thought in regard to its own death. The question, to this
extent, is how to break the hegemonic model of the sun in regard to death and exteri-
ority without submitting to another star, another horizon or even investing in the truth
of extinction whose exorbitance leads to restrictions reminiscent of those imposed by
solar excess. Does the speculative unbinding of terrestrial thought from the sun as an
exclusivist mode of dissipation which must be afforded by all means require a different
conception of terrestriality that binds exteriority in different modes other than those
prescribed by the solar economy? Or does such a task require a vector of thought ca-
pable of circumventing the earth so as to evade the limits posed by the solar economy,
the order of economical affordability and the restrictive image of exteriority immanent
to it? But then what is the relation of such thought that has dispossessed itself of its im-
mediate resources with extralimital idealism?